The Differences Between Robotic Tips, Pipette Tips, and Serological Pipets

Pipette tips

The Differences Between Robotic Tips, Pipette Tips, and Serological Pipets

Pipettes are one of the most basic and most important pieces of equipment in a lab. Did you know that the wrong pipette tip can cause up to a 50% error within lab results? Using the wrong tip not only leads to inaccurate results but also contamination and improper aspiration due to a poor seal.

Here we will take you through the differences between robotic tips, pipette tips, and serological pipets so that you will know which tips are right for what you need to accomplish.

What Are Pipettes?

Pipettes are tools used in lab and hospital settings. The primary function of a pipette is to carry and measure volumes of liquids. This allows scientists and lab technicians to safely transfer liquids. Pipettes allow individuals to measure liquids in a controlled and standardized way, without putting the user at risk to exposure. Pipettes also minimizes errors such as volume loss within a sample. Most tips utilize hydrophobic materials that ensures that all liquid transfer out of the pipette. Low retention is important when maintaining a specific volume for a test.

Pipettes range from simple droppers to finely calibrated machines that can take up tiny amounts of samples. This means that there is a vast range of pipette tip sizes to handle just about any volume needed, which makes pipettes a versatile tool in the lab. Pipets are slightly different from pipettes. They are long glass or plastic tubes that require a pipe-aid to create the suction force to take up volumes of liquids. Although these two tools differ slightly, both are equally important.

Different Uses of Pipettes

There is a broad range of situations that pipettes can be used for, which require different types of pipette tips. Usually, pipettes are used in tests such as cell cultures, working with DNA and RNA samples, or when sterility is a high priority. Pipette tips come with different features such as long, short, or wide opening tips. These attributes allow the handler to reach the bottom of a long test tube, allow for easier manoeuvring, as well as careful handling of fragile cells. The body of the pipette draws up controlled amounts of liquid through vacuum suction. These liquids stay in the tip portion of the pipette which is disposable.

Filtered and Unfiltered Pipette Tips

Filtered pipette tips are disposable. They’re made from high-quality plastic that allows smooth transfer of liquids. These tips prevent contamination, as well as keep the liquids from aspirating into the barrel. Filtered tips are also good for training new lab members. The filter is at the back of the tip where it connects to the pipette. It maintains a line of defence between the substance and the pipette by keeping the liquid behind the filter. Unfiltered tips have no barrier to prevent contamination. Tips like these excel in situations that are at lower risk for creating aerosols into the lower part of the pipette. You shouldn’t use unfiltered tips as a training device and only use with well-controlled samples that aren’t at risk for aerosolization.

Robotic Tips

Robotic pipette tips are used in situations where the handling process of a liquid is automated. Robotic tips are generally made of plastic and come in a cartridge with tips from sets of 96 up to sets of 384 tips, depending on your needs. Robotic pipette tips are usually made for nano or microliter volumes, with a high number of samples used. These tips come in either filtered or unfiltered tips, making them versatile for testing situations that require a high number of samples.

Robotic tips are used when there is a repetitive need for liquids at measured volumes, making hand pipetting tedious and impractical. By delegating the robotic module to take on the time-consuming task of pipetting liquids, robotic pipetting can save time and money within a lab.

Serological Pipets

Serological pipets are one of the most versatile pipets and have many uses within the lab. They can be used to transfer liquids, mix solutions, and layer reagents with different densities. Serological pipets can come in disposable plastic and glass, as well as autoclavable glass. Being able to sterilize the pipets can help reduce reoccurring costs within the lab, especially if the test doesn’t need to be free of all contaminants. Serological pipets usually come with gradation marks on the sides for accurate measurements and come in a range of sizes, usually 1mL up to 100 mL. These pipets are made from materials that will hold sensitive samples neutrally, such as cells, bacteria, and other biological substances that may be sensitive to chemical interactions.

Choosing the Right Tips Help Reduce Errors

When looking for the right pipette tips for your needs, you should first decide how large you need the tips to be. Whether you need reusable or disposable tips will help you decide what material to go with. You should make sure that the tips you have are compatible with the pipettes in your lab so that a close seal can be made. This will ensure that there is complete vacuum suction for the most accurate measurements.

Ensuring that there is proper training within the lab can greatly reduce errors and create more consistent results. Proper preparation of the pipet, pressure techniques, angles of suction, and taking your time can help lead to higher quality results.

Find the Right Pipette Tips for Whatever You Need!

Remember, there are many different options when it comes to choosing pipette tips. Pipettes are an integral part of the experimentation and testing process, one that any lab can’t do without.

Whether you need filtered tips, robotic tips, or serological pipets we have you covered.

Click here and find out why MarathonLS is the best when it comes to your lab needs today!

Why Is the Demand for Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipettes Continually Increasing?

Serological Pipets

Why Is the Demand for Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipettes Continually Increasing?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated the medical device shortage list to now include testing supplies including serological pipettes, which has greatly impacted both the healthcare and life sciences industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has, obviously, had a major impact on the global supply chain.  With increased demand for testing, the materials available worldwide dwindled. Coupled with this year’s winter storms in Texas, which is host to two of the three biggest polyethylene plants, the manufacturing of clear plastic polymer pipette tips, serological pipets, and other products slowed down dramatically. The increased demand and decreased supply are making it difficult for labs to keep pace. Researchers are facing higher prices on their laboratory supplies, with exceptionally increased wait times. This means that scientists are burning through funds faster, with delayed results. Despite the setbacks, the demand for the accuracy and precision of laboratory supplies continues increasing. Keep reading to explore the key factors in optimizing serological pipet performance.

Pipettes vs Pipet

Serological pipets are a single glass or plastic tube that serve as basic instruments for many lab applications. Serologic pipets are the tool of choice for the following tasks.
  • Moving liquid between different receptacles and containers
  • Mixing chemical solutions
  • Stacking reagents with different density composition
Pipette tips and serological pipets can only be used once to prevent cross-contamination. This means that labs can use up many cases in one day. Thus, labs need a consistent supply to keep research experiments running smoothly.

What Impacts the Accuracy and Precision of Serological Pipets?

Several factors play a role in the precision and accuracy of serological pipets.  Without accuracy, the results are meaningless. Pipettes must give a reading that’s close to a nominal or true volume measured by the volume setting. Precision describes the ability to repeat the test and get the same results. The repetitive test results must fall within a set standard deviation. It’s important to record environmental and liquid variations when testing. The following factors can impact the accuracy and precision of your results.

1. Density

A liquid’s volume density (mass/volume ratio) impacts the aspiration into the tip. To test this, aspirate a small volume of a higher-than-water density and an equal amount of water. The earth’s gravity, flexibility, and amount of dead air volume affect the results.

2. Temperature

Temperature also plays a key role in altering the density of liquids. This changes the accuracy of pipetting. The temperature difference between the liquid and the delivery device greatly impacts outcomes. The dead air volume (air gap) expands between the piston and the liquid surface. This causes the amount of liquid aspirated into the tip to increase or decrease. Thus, your result’s accuracy and precision become compromised.

3. Altitude

Air pressure changes at different geographic altitudes. High altitudes lower the air pressure causing the conversion factor Z to decrease. The boiling point of some liquids can become close to room temperature at specific altitudes. This will cause a dramatic increase in evaporation loss.

MarathonLS Serological Pipets

MarathonLS offers a size range from 1 mL serological pipets to 100 mL. Each pipet has clear ascending and descending graduations marked on the side. This ensures accurate measurement when dispensing or aspirating. All MarathonLS pipets meet certification standards that guarantee that they’re RNase-free, DNAse-free, non-cytotoxic, and non-pyrogenic. They’re also latex-free and adhere to BSE/TSE standards. Every serological pipet is produced in a class 100,000 cleanroom environment. The facilities meet ISO13485 and ISO9001 requirements for quality management systems. Pipette tips are available in high-grade filtered, unfiltered, extended length, and low retention. You can also get universal-fit tips for most major pipettors. Their hydrophobic surface promotes accurate pipetting. Every item has a printed batch number to make it traceable. The graduation calibration also allows for dispensing within ±2 percent.

Choosing the Right Size Pipette

To ensure accuracy and precision, it’s key to choose the right tool for measuring each volume. Always select the smallest pipet appropriate for the job to reduce errors. When measuring 4.5 mL of liquid, a 5 ml serological pipette is more accurate than a 10 mL. If you’re working with very small volumes, you’ll want to choose a small pipet. Thus, a serological pipette of 2ml or similar size is often best. Its small diameter and precise graduations reduce errors when judging the sample’s meniscus.

Most Common Serological Pipette Sizes

The most common volumetric pipettes include the following:
  • 10 mL serological pipette
  • 25 ml serological pipette
  • 50 ml serological pipette
Scientists often use these to produce laboratory solutions from a base stock. They’re also valuable in preparing a solution for titration.

Are You Searching for a Reliable Laboratory Supply Company?

This article focused on the importance of accurate and precise serological pipettes. At MarathonLS we focus on delivering unparalleled service for all our clients. This includes the unique needs of healthcare facilities, science labs, and education institutions.

Our team promises “relentless” communication, flexibility in scheduling, and next-day guarantees.

 Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

How Pipette Tips Play a Key Role in Lab Experiments

Importance of Pipette Tips in Labs

How Pipette Tips Play a Key Role in Lab Experiments

One of the most commonly practiced methods in laboratories is liquid handling. Though it is typically hassle-free with larger quantities and the right lab supplies like beakers, volumetric flasks, graduated cylinders, etc., working with smaller or minute fluid volumes is when things can get tricky. For successful laboratory practices and experiments, there are two important factors to be considered:
  • Accurate measurements
  • Effortless use of apparatus to execute the procedures
Speaking of lab experiments like PCR, DNA isolation, or purification, pipette tips are vital and need excellent precision to handle minute fluid volumes. Again, the right pipette tips play a massive role in scientific experiments. Conversely, using faulty tools can skew results, which could have disastrous outcomes on the experiment. If your pipette tips aren’t appropriate or compatible with your pipettors, it can affect your experiment largely. Not only can it make your results inaccurate, but it also wastes time by forcing you to do the entire process over again. To help you out, here is an overview of the significance of pipettor tips and how they play a key role in lab experiments.

What are Pipette Tips? 

Pipette tips are small, disposable tips that are made of molded plastic. Shaped like cones, a scientist attaches a pipette tip to the end of a pipettor and then uses it to transfer the liquid. 
The liquid used in the pipette tip is measured in microliters (μL), or one-thousandth of a milliliter (mL). Pipette tips are important materials to have in your lab for many reasons.

Why Pipette Tips are Essential for Lab Experiments?

Despite how often they are overlooked, pipette tips are must-have items in your laboratory and here are some valid reasons why:

1. Precise and Accurate

Precision and accuracy are crucial to any lab experiment. Therefore, it is paramount that each material or chemical in the experiment is measured as carefully and specifically as possible to get the best results. That’s where pipette tips come in. Pipette tips allow scientists to measure specific amounts of liquid in their experiments. With pipette tips, you can zero in on the details and get as precise as possible in your measurements. This, in turn, allows for more accurate results.

2. Easy to Use and Learn

Pipetting is a technique that all scientists should know how to do. Even high school students learn basic pipetting skills because of how important this technique is. But despite its importance, it’s quite easy. Learning how to use pipettes and pipette tips is a useful and simple skill. With the right kind of tips for your pipettor, any novice can learn the pipetting technique.

3. Sterile

If you’re running an experiment that requires sterility, like cell culture, you need to make sure that you use pipette tips. Not only do they reduce cross-contamination, but if you use the right kind of tips, you’ll get better results. Non-sterile pipette tips are often used since not all scientific research needs to be sterile. But you can also get pre-sterilized pipette tips that don’t contain any DNA, RNase, ATP, or pyrogens to keep your experiment free of contamination. This ensures better and more accurate results.

4. Efficient

Scientists value efficiency, especially in the lab. Pipette tips allow scientists to complete scientific experiments quickly and easily. They reduce the need for more complicated, time-consuming instruments. While pipette tips are designed to be disposable, they can be reusable to increase efficiency and sustainability. This depends, though, on the quality of the tip, your cleaning method, and the nature of your experiment. For example, if your experiment needs to be kept sterile, it’s a better idea to dispose of your pipette tips rather than reuse them.

5. Diverse

No two lab experiments are the same. Each one will use different conditions, different materials, and different methods. Pipette tips have a huge advantage in this area. Pipette tips come in all different kinds and sizes, and there are tons of different pipette tip uses. So no matter what your experiment is, it’s almost a guarantee that you can find the specific kind of pipette tip that you need.

3 Types of Pipette Tips

There are different types of pipette tips that you can use, depending on your experiment or the model of pipette that you have. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more common types:

1. Universal/Bulk Pipette Tips

This type of pipette tip is best for labs with smaller budgets. You can get great deals when buying bulk pipette tips. Universal pipette tips are designed to fit onto many different pipette models. Of course, you should always double-check the diameter of your pipette’s barrel to be thorough, but in general, universal pipette tips should do the job. But you do still want to make sure your pipette tips are high-quality to get good results, so do some research before you buy.

2. Filtered Pipette Tips

Filter pipette tips, also called aerosol barrier pipette tips, are designed to prevent damage from aerosols. They contain a filter in the front area of the tip to keep any harmful solutions from entering the barrel and interfering with the experiment.

3. Low Retention Pipette Tips

Low retention is a great attribute for your pipette tips to have. They retain very low amounts of liquid, ensuring that there is little to no liquid left inside the tip after dispensing. This helps keep measurements accurate. When using a standard pipette tip, there is sometimes some liquid left inside after dispensing. Low retention pipette tips don’t have this problem. They are made from a hydrophobic material, which keeps the liquid from staying inside the pipette tip.

Learn More About Pipette Tips and Other Lab Equipment

Pipette tips are an underrated laboratory tool. They are crucial materials to have in the lab and play a major role in scientific experiments. Next time you’re in the lab, make sure you pay attention to your pipette tips!

Contact us to get pipette tips or other lab equipment and services today!

Pipette Tips Shortage: How is it Hindering Biological Research?


Pipette Tips Shortage: How is it Hindering Biological Research?

Scientists use hundreds of pipette tips on any given day in their labs. In December 2020, the Food and Drug Administration announced that pipette tips are on the ‘Device Shortage List,’ confirming what many scientists already knew: there was a debilitating supply chain problem in the life sciences industry.   By March 2021, nearly half of all laboratories  nationally struggled to get the essential supplies needed for testing due to the global shortage of medical supplies. Continue reading to learn why there is such a shortage of pipette tips in the medical and science industry.

What are Pipette Tips Used For?

Medical professionals use filtered pipette tips for testing and scientists use them in their important research. Using the right pipette tip is essential for gathering the right amount of liquid in the lab.   It’s important to use pipette tips with a filter when there is a higher chance of contamination. These pipette tips have a barrier of sorts to help prevent unecessary liquid from getting into the pipette barrel. Some of the other uses of pipette tips in the life sciences industry include:  
  • Working on the development of clinical trials
  • Working on new therapeutics
  • Doing basic research in university labs
  • Creating treatments and therapies for rare diseases and neurological conditions
  • Research for cancer treatments
When babies are born, they go through various tests to make sure that they are in good health. To run these screening tests, researchers use about 160 million pipettes every year. The Department of Health and Human Services has prioritized delivering the materials required for this newborn testing, yet the problem is still persistent in healthcare, reasearch, and pharmaceutical industries.

What is Causing the Shortage in Pipette Tips?

There are many causes of this shortage that can be traced across the globe. Most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for the tips, as they were used in testing. Internationally, manufacturers were left struggling to keep up.   As COVID-19 became more prevalent, people across the world were regularly getting tested, making it nearly impossible to keep up with the demand for pipettes. The U.S. Defense Production Act came about, and as a result, medical testing for the coronavius was prioritized, leaving other researchers without much hope for securing a stable supply chain.   Importing and exporting across international borders also presents a unique challenges for pipette manufacturers. Mandatory quarantines for incoming shipping containers delayed the delivery tips and other imported supplies. Additionally, less custom agents were able to work, slowing down shipments even moreso. Put simply, there aren’t enough people or resources to keep these crucial shipments moving on a tight schedule.   Due to the unprecedented winter storms in Texas, recent blackouts caused three of the largest manufacturers of medical-grade plastic lab equipment to lose electricity and shut down temporarilyy. Not only did this halt all production, but these factories were left with a large amount of damaged product. Also in Texas, there was a fire at a manufacturing plant that supplies 80% of United States’ containers for pipettes. This fire put polypropylene resin (the raw material used in plastic lab equipment) in significant demand and on backorder.   These natural disasters caused the prices of pipette tips and other research materials to skyrocket, and some consumers are now seeing surcharges doubled since before the pandemic.

How is it Hindering Biological Research?

Manufacturers are trying their hardest to keep up, but there is unfortunatly no end in sight. Many labs are left to prepare for the possiblility that they will be without any tips and no expectation of when they will arrive. As it currently stands, getting a shipment of pipettes can take months from the initial request.   Despite the shortage, biotech companies are still pressured to continue with their hardwork of development, analysis, and research. These companies are left with no option other than keeping pipette usage to a minimum, conserving as much of their stock as possible and sometimes going as far as to wash and reuse their tips. While most companies haven’t had to deal with halting their work just yet, it could eventually happen if the shortage continues.   It isn’t only the pipettes that scientists are running out of. Due to all of those factors mentioned above, they are struggling to find any plastic lab equipment, including petri dishes, tissue culture flask, and other research materials.  

Supplying the Demand

Running out of these essential items can cause your lab to put your research on hold until the manufacturers can catch up with the demand for supplies.   Contact MarathonLS today to discuss your lab equipment needs if you are worried about finding pipette tips. We are proud to offer a steady supply chain and a standing order program, alleviating the concern for stock that many lab managers are facing. We look forward to working with you.